Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Toxicodendron pubescens

Introductory

SPECIES: Toxicodendron pubescens
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Sullivan, Janet. 1994. Toxicodendron pubescens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ []. ABBREVIATION : TOXPUB SYNONYMS : Rhus toxicodendron L. [5] Rhus toxicarium Salisb. [8] Toxicodendron toxicodendron (L.) Britt. [5] Toxicodendron toxicarium (Salisb.) Gillis [8,9] Toxicodendron quercifolium (Michx.) Greene [8,20] NRCS PLANT CODE : TOPU2 COMMON NAMES : Atlantic poison-oak Atlantic poison oak TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for Atlantic poison-oak is Toxicodendron pubescens Miller (Anacardiaceae) [21,24,25]. This taxon is often confused in the literature with eastern poison-ivy (T. radicans), with which it has shared the synonym Rhus toxicodendron. The possibility of hybridization between Atlantic poison-oak and other Toxicodendron species is limited due to differences in habitat. Atlantic poison-oak forms occasional hybrids with eastern poison-ivy where their ranges overlap [8]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Toxicodendron pubescens
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Atlantic poison-oak occurs from New Jersey to Florida, west to eastern Texas, and north to southeastern Kansas [8]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine STATES : AL AR DE FL GA KS LA MD MS MO NJ NC OK SC TN TX VA WV BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 14 Great Plains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K076 Blackland prairie K081 Oak savanna K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100 K084 Cross Timbers K086 Juniper - oak savanna K088 Fayette prairie K100 Oak - hickory forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest K115 Sand pine scrub SAF COVER TYPES : 40 Post oak - blackjack oak 43 Bear oak 45 Pitch pine 46 Eastern redcedar 70 Longleaf pine 71 Longleaf pine - scrub oak 72 Southern scrub oak 76 Shortleaf pine - oak 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 81 Loblolly pine 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 83 Longleaf pine - slash pine 84 Slash pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Atlantic poison-oak is seldom abundant [8]. It occurs in open woodlands of various mixtures: longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)-scrub oak (Quercus spp.), pine (Pinus spp.)-hardwood, and second-growth hardwood [9]. It is found most often in scrub oak and pine woodland savannas with an understory of ericaceous shrubs and bunchgrasses including threeawn (Aristida spp.), needlegrass (Stipa spp.), and bluestem (Andropogon spp.) [8]. Atlantic poison-oak occurs under loblolly pine (P. taeda) plantations in Louisiana [2]. It is listed as an associated species in a big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)-kochia (Kochia scoparia)-common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) community that occurs in Kansas. Other associates in that community include western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), lambsquarters (Chenopodium album), and sedge (Carex spp.) [6]. In Alabama, eastern poison-oak is reported from a community in the Bee Branch Gorge Research Natural Area which represents the southernmost limit of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Tree associates of Atlantic poison-oak in this community include eastern hemlock and American beech (Fagus grandifolia). Understory associates include muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia) and cane (Arundinaria gigantea) [22]. Atlantic poison-oak is seldom associated with other members of its genus because of differences in soil requirements [8].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Toxicodendron pubescens
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Specific instances of wildlife use of Atlantic poison-oak have not been reported in the literature, although Blair [2] listed it as palatable browse for white-tailed deer. Eastern poison-ivy, a closely related species, is browsed by white-tailed deer, and its fruits are consumed by 61 species of wildlife [15]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Rhus toxicodendron occurred with 1 percent frequency on 10-year-old, unreclaimed lignite mine sites. It occurred at 15 percent frequency on 30-year-old sites, and 67 percent on 60-year-old sites. It was not found on sites less than 10 years old, but did occur on undisturbed adjacent sites at 3 percent frequency. It is not clear from this article whether the reference is to eastern poison-ivy or to eastern poison-oak [23]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Eastern poison-ivy was used as a stimulant and a narcotic. Its juice was used to make indelible ink [19]. It is likely that Atlantic poison-oak has been used for the same purposes. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Atlantic poison-oak produces uroshiol, an allergenic oil that causes dermatitis in susceptible individuals [11]. A skin test has been developed to determine individual sensitivity to uroshiol. Other work is in progress to develop preventative treatments for sensitive individuals [18]. Atlantic poison-oak can be controlled by a number of herbicides [10,11].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Toxicodendron pubescens
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Atlantic poison-oak is a native, rhizomatous, deciduous shrub [5]. It has slender, erect stems that are woody for 20 to 24 inches (50-60 cm) [5], and are not over 3 feet (1 m) tall. The trifoliate leaves are oak-like in appearance with three to seven lobes [20]. Many authors report that the leaves are more leathery than those of eastern poison-ivy; however, Gillis [8] stated that this is a variable character. The flowers are produced in dense panicles 1 to 3 inches (2.5-7.6 cm) long. The fruit is a hard, reniform-globose or depressed-globose drupe [8,20]. Unlike its congener eastern poison-ivy, it is not a climber, nor does it produce aerial roots [8]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Atlantic poison-oak reproduces both vegetatively and by seed [8,11]. Vegetative reproduction in Atlantic poison-oak is accomplished by the formation of clones via rhizomes [20]. The intervals at which aerial stems are produced from rhizomes are greater than the intervals observed for eastern poison-ivy [8]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Atlantic poison-oak occurs on dry barrens, pinelands [5], and oak woods [8]. It is largely confined to sandy soils of low fertility on the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains. Soils are most often coarse sands that are low in calcium, magnesium, and potassium [8]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Atlantic poison-oak is probably not tolerant of heavy shade [19]. In Louisiana, Atlantic poison-oak production was highest under loblolly pine plantations that had been lightly thinned, and lowest under similar plantations that had been heavily thinned [2]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Atlantic poison-oak is in flower from May to June, and ripened fruits are available from August through November [5].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Toxicodendron pubescens
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Atlantic poison-oak occurs in the understory of open woods, particularly in the longleaf pine, loblolly pine, and scrub oak types [8,9]. The open condition of these communities is maintained by fire. Historically, fires in these communities occurred frequently (intervals from 3 to 20 years) and were usually low-intensity surface fires. It is likely that Atlantic poison-oak is able to survive low-intensity surface fires by sprouting from rhizomes if top-killed. In Texas, eastern poison-oak is a common understory plant in a dry, upland longleaf pine savanna which has been maintained by periodic prescribed fire (burned at 3- to 5-year intervals) [13]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes".

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Toxicodendron pubescens
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : No specific information on Atlantic poison-oak mortality or top-kill due to fire was available in the literature. It is likely that, given its small stature, Atlantic poison-oak is easily top-killed by even low-intensity surface fires. It is likely to survive such fires and sprout from rhizomes. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : In Tennessee, Atlantic poison-oak occurred on plots that were prescribed burned annually between 1963 and 1988. Years and duration of its occurrence were not reported; the authors stated only that it "occurred widely across the years". Atlantic poison-oak was also present on plots that were burned periodically (1964 and 1969) but disappeared from these plots after 1972 [3]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : The allergenic oil (uroshiol) from Atlantic poison-oak can be carried on soot particles when the plant is burned and causes dermatitis on persons working in areas where Atlantic poison-oak is burned [11]. The smoke can injure lungs. Reports of ill effects from exposure to the smoke of burning eastern poison-ivy or poison-oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) include head-to-toe dermatitis, fever, lung infections, and even death caused by the throat swelling up [18]. It is likely that under similar burning conditions and plant densities, smoke from Atlantic poison-oak could cause the same problems. Atlantic poison-oak, however, has not been reported at anywhere near the same densities encountered for either eastern poison-ivy or poison-oak.

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Toxicodendron pubescens
REFERENCES : 1. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 2. Blair, Robert M. 1960. Deer forage increased by thinnings in a Louisiana loblolly pine plantation. Journal of Wildlife Management. 24(4): 401-405. [16891] 3. DeSelm, H. R.; Clebsch, E. E. C. 1991. Response types to prescribed fire in oak forest understory. In: Nodvin, Stephen C.; Waldrop, Thomas A., eds. Fire and the environment: ecological and cultural perspectives: Proceedings of an international symposium; 1990 March 20-24; Knoxville, TN. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-69. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 22-33. [16630] 4. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 5. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2). [14935] 6. Fleharty, Eugene D. 1972. Some aspects of small mammal ecology in a Kansas remnant prairie. In: Zimmerman, James H., ed. Proceedings, 2nd Midwest prairie conference; 1970 September 18-20; Madison, WI. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Arboretum: 97-103. [2802] 7. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 8. Gillis, William T. 1971. The systematics and ecology of poison-ivy and the poison-oaks (Toxicodendron, Anacardiaceae). Rhodora. 73: 370-443. [8104] 9. Godfrey, Robert K. 1988. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of northern Florida and adjacent Georgia and Alabama. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 734 p. [10239] 10. Hamel, Dennis R. 1981. Forest management chemicals: A guide to use when considering pesticides for forest management. Agric. Handb. 585. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 512 p. [7847] 11. Hardin, James W. 1980. Things you should know about poison ivy--poison oak--poison sumac. AG-31. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University, Agricultural Extension Service. 20 p. [22421] 12. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 13. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1992. Boykin Springs Longleaf, Texas. Natural History. July: 62-65. [18360] 14. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 15. Robinette, W. Leslie. 1972. Browse and cover for wildlife. In: McKell, Cyrus M.; Blaisdell, James P.; Goodin, Joe R., tech. eds. Wildland shrubs--their biology and utilization: An international symposium: Proceedings; 1971 July; Logan, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-1. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 69-76. [9713] 16. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 17. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 18. Vietmeyer, Voel. 1986. Science has got its hands on poison-ivy, poison-oak, and poison-sumac. Fire Management Notes. 47(1): 23-28. [22422] 19. Walker, Laurence C. 1991. The southern forest: A chronicle. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 322 p. [17597] 20. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 21. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329] 22. Gunasekaran, M.; Weber, D. J.; Sanderson, S.; Devall, Margaret M. 1992. Reanalysis of the vegetation of Bee Branch Gorge Research Natural Area, a hemlock-beech community on the Warrior River Basin of Alabama. Castanea. 57(1): 34-45. [20436] 23. Skousen, J. G.; Call, C. A.; Knight, R. W. 1990. Natural revegetation of an unreclaimed lignite surface mine in east-central Texas. Southwestern Naturalist. 35(4): 434-440. [21195] 24. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329] 25. Wunderlin, Richard P.; Hansen, Bruce F. 2003. Guide to the vascular plants of Florida. 2nd ed. Gainesville, FL: The University of Florida Press. 787 p. [69433]